Exercising regularly helps people reduce their risk of developing various health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. Exercising is also an excellent way to lose and maintain weight. However, time and financial constraints, as well as age-related problems, sometimes make it difficult for people to hit the gym each day. If that is the case with you know that walking is an excellent exercise for fat burning and promoting overall good health. More importantly, it is a low-risk exercise that can be practiced by all age groups and the fact that it is free makes it accessible to all.
Fitness trackers and pedometers recommend walking at least 10,000 steps every day, which is equivalent to walking about 5 miles each day. However, if fat and calorie burning is your ultimate goal, you must practice brisk walking for at least 45 minutes each day. In this article, we delve deeper into details and attempt to answer the several walking-related questions fitness enthusiasts have. Let us start by tacking the very basic of all these questions.
Does walking help you lost weight and how?
Yes, walking is one of the simplest but most effective ways to lose weight. Here’s how.
The body needs the energy to carry out various day-to-day activities. This energy required by the body to carry out various chemical reactions and support simple functions determine a person’s daily calorie needs, which in turn, vary based on activity level, genes, weight, and sex. To be able to lose weight, a person must burn more calories than they consume.
Walking enhances a person’s metabolism and helps them burn more calories than they usually do, which in turn, results in weight loss. A 125-pound person burns 240 calories and a 188-pound person burns close to 356 calories when they walk at a speed of 3.5 miles per hour for an hour. When people practice brisk walking, they burn even more calories. Thus, if you want to get rid of all that extra fat from your body, find some time to walk each day. Start with a warmup — walk slowly for about 5 to 10 minutes and then pick up speed to enter the fat-burning zone.
How much should you walk to lose weight?
It is not possible to walk an hour each day. However, if you want to lose weight, you should walk for at least 2.5 hours a week. More importantly, you should walk at a speed that allows you to reach the moderate-intensity exercise zone, i.e. a state when your heart reaches 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. How do you know you have reached the moderate-intensity exercise zone? Once in this zone, your breathing will become harder and though you will be able to speak full sentences, you won’t be able to sing, even if you try. If you are new to walking, start with shorter periods — walk for about 10 minutes and take a break. However, aim to build up stamina. In terms of losing weight, you will benefit most from walking if you walk for at least 30 minutes at a stretch after warming up.
More importantly, try to maintain consistency and walk each day. In case are unable to go walking, do some exercises at home. Exercising regularly improves your metabolism, making your body more calories each day.
Can walking help me get rid of stomach fat?
Walking is an aerobic exercise and aerobic exercises are extremely effective against the body’s stubborn body fat. Walking will not directly burn belly fat but it will help you lose overall weight, which in turn, will result in a flatter tummy. If you want to burn belly fat quickly, we recommend combining high-intensity walks with slow-paced walks. In 2008, the University of Virginia conducted a study to understand how variations in walking can help with weight loss. The study concluded that women who practised three fast-paced walks with two slower walks lost six times more belly fat than women who walked at the same speed each day. Thus, if you are focussed on losing bodyweight and burning belly fat, experiment with your speed of walking. You can also benefit from combining strength exercises with your regular walks. Most importantly, remember to eat right and always keep the calories consumed lower than the calories burned.
How long will it take before I see results?
The answer to this question depends on the weight category you fall into. If you fall under the obese category, you may be able to see visible results within three days also. However, if you are a small woman with low BMI, it will take you at least a few weeks to see concrete results. In general, it is safe to assume that most people will begin to see some difference in their body by the end of the second week. However, if you are going for visible changes, wait at least four weeks.
Walking reduces stress and promotes overall wellbeing
Walking improves mood and alleviates any feeling of stress or anxiety you may have. It does so by producing serotonin, which is an important mood regulator. More importantly, walking also induces the body to produce dopamine, which is another feel-good hormone. The production of these hormones and the way people feel after walking makes it easier for them to get used to it as an exercise and make it a part of their daily routine.
It is important to highlight that walking does not only help people reduce weight and fight stress and anxiety, but it also helps them promote overall wellbeing. It improves blood circulation and helps people sleep better, thereby making them feel healthier every day. Walking is also known to improve lower body strength and build endurance. Most importantly, walking teaches people to follow a routine and eat better every day.
The Final Word
Whether you want to lose weight or simply maintain overall wellbeing, walking is an excellent exercise. If you want to lose weight, start slow and build up your stamina so that you are able to walk at least 20-25 minutes in the moderate-intensity exercise zone. If you are focussed on burning belly fat through walking, combine two weekly slow-walk sessions with three or four weekly fast-paced walking sessions. If you want to walk to stay healthy, walk for 2.5 hours every week at whatever speed suits you best.